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DAM 101

Defining, Building, and Optimizing DAM Workflows for Maximum Efficiency

Ben Owen

By Ben Owen | Dec 04, 2023


Digital Asset Management (DAM) has become indispensable for modern organizations since it facilitates the efficient organization, retrieval, and distribution of digital assets. However, since the effectiveness of a DAM program relies heavily on well-defined workflows, these must be in place for a program to be successful. 

In this article, we'll explore how to define, build, and optimize effective DAM workflows. At each step along the way, we'll offer best practices and give examples of some of the most valuable DAM workflows your organization is likely to need.


Defining Effective DAM Workflows

If you’re new to digital asset management, identifying, prioritizing, and defining your core DAM workflows is vital to your long-term success. Failing to do this hinders your DAM program’s ability to meet the needs of your end users and scale effectively with the growth of your brand. 

One of the most important DAM workflows is asset ingestion. In layman’s terms, this is the process of publishing new content to your DAM system in an organized way which ensures that these assets are easy to find and access. To properly define a workflow like this, you’ll need to understand the unique needs of your users. What kinds of metadata need to be attached to assets before they're ingested? What specific assets produced by each team need to be ingested? 

Once these questions are answered, different parts of the workflow need to be assigned to key stakeholders. For example, who will be responsible for collecting, enriching, organizing, and publishing assets each day, week, or month? Once assets are ingested, will they be quality controlled? If so, by whom?

Finally, it’s essential to map out and document this workflow, clearly defining the people, processes, and platforms involved for easy reference by all users. This ensures consistency and scalability even if personnel change over time. No matter the workflow, defining these three essential components ensures that workflows are followed and efficient.

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Building Robust DAM Workflows

Building robust DAM workflows entails the practical implementation of defined processes within a DAM system. Workflows often look great on paper, with colorful mind maps, flow charts, and swim lanes. They can be useless, however, if they're disorganized and incomplete. 

When you begin building your DAM workflows, one of your core workflows is likely to revolve around how your users will access, navigate, and share assets within your DAM program. After you’ve mapped this workflow, the next step is to validate it. 

Ideally, you've walked both your DAM team and your DAM platform vendor through it, gathered feedback, and allowed them to point out the features and capabilities you may be able to leverage during implementation. Once this is done, have your team test the workflow, using a small sample of assets and a handful of users, to ensure that the metadata, permissions, and distribution standards you’ve developed work in the real world. 

Once validation is complete, your team can begin implementing the workflow on a larger scale. It can also use the same process to create additional workflows. If your team doesn’t have the time or resources to put the required attention into this effort, consider contacting your DAM platform vendor or a DAM consultant to handle the implementation for you. This maximizes efficiency and ensures that the momentum you’ve built continues. 

Once your workflows are up and running, it’s time to fully onboard and train your end-users, giving them opportunities to ask questions, make mistakes, and truly understand the benefits of adopting them.


Optimizing Workflow Efficiency

Optimizing workflow efficiency is an ongoing endeavor that requires continuous monitoring, analysis, and refinement. By leveraging the analytics and performance metrics provided by your DAM platform, your organization can identify bottlenecks, user behaviors, and emerging requirements. This enables you to adapt and improve your DAM workflows accordingly. 

Alongside this consistent analysis, integrating your DAM platform with other core systems like your Content Management System (CMS)Product Information Management (PIM) system, or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system greatly boosts the value and efficiency of your DAM workflows.

Additionally, staying informed about technological advancements and industry trends allows organizations to integrate new features and functionalities into their DAM workflows, ensuring their systems remain agile and aligned with their evolving business needs.



Effective DAM workflows are crucial for realizing the full potential of an organization’s DAM program. By defining, building, and optimizing workflows tailored to their requirements, they can enhance operational efficiency, collaboration, and asset utilization. 

As organizations recognize the significance of DAM in their digital marketing strategies, investing in well-crafted workflows becomes imperative. If you need help creating or redefining your DAM workflows to unlock the true potential of your digital assets, contact Stacks today!

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